What’s the difference between a Traineeship, an Apprenticeship, and an Internship?

Throughout your job search, you might be faced with these terms: Traineeship, Apprenticeship, Internship. But, what do they really mean?

Again we come face-to-face with industry jargon, however this time you might be familiar with them. Differentiating between the three, and knowing which you can apply for widens the job search beyond the parameters of permanent positions.

More importantly, however, a couple of days ago (July 8th, 2020) the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed a bonus incentive package set to triple the number of traineeships in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The scheme is designed to encourage UK employers to help young, inexperienced people get back to work.

‘But what is a traineeship? And what does this incentive package mean to me?’

We’ve had several employers here on DigitalGrads asking whether taking an intern from us would qualify for the bonus. The short answer is unfortunately no.

The scheme is designed for young people who are:

  • Unemployed
  • Educated below A-Level
  • Little or no work experience

Unfortunately, all of you are either graduates or completing your degree (which is 3 levels higher than a qualifying candidate) and most of you have a fair amount of work experience. Therefore, unfortunately, you are not eligible for the scheme.

Nevertheless, we at DigitalGrads will continue to strive our hardest to find you the perfect job. So, in the meantime, sign up here or begin training through our academy.

Today we are going to help clarify the confusion which surrounds these mysterious terms: ‘Traineeship’, ‘Apprenticeship’, and ‘Internship’. Whilst looking at which ones you’re able to apply for!

So… what is a Traineeship?

A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets young people ready for work or for an apprenticeship. It can last up to 6 months and is a common gateway to an apprenticeship.

To qualify candidates must be:

  • Eligible to work in England
  • Currently unemployed
  • Have little or no work experience
  • Aged 16 to 24
  • Qualified below Level 3

It’s unpaid as the candidate is volunteering their time to learn new skills from their employer.

Can I do a Traineeship?

Unfortunately, no. As a DigitalGrad your education level exceeds the qualifying candidate level 🙁

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job. Apprentices can be new or current employees and should meet these criteria:

  • Aged 16 or over,
  • Living in England
  • Not in full-time education

The employer must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage and allow the apprentice time to study during their working week.

Apprenticeships have different levels to explain their equivalent level in education:

Can I do an Apprenticeship?

Yes! 🙂

Graduates can take apprenticeships in subjects that are different to their degree. For example, if a person with a degree in marketing wanted to change career to become a software developer, they could apply for an apprenticeship in development. But, they could not apply for an apprenticeship in marketing because their education level in that subject is already superior.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a paid fixed-term employment opportunity for a young person who has some relevant skills to offer the employer. They are usually educated to degree level but haven’t yet had their first relevant full-time role.

It’s a great way for employers to try out a candidate before they commit to employing them permanently. It’s also a good way to give a young person a chance to prove themselves.

Crucially, internships are not education or training. They are fixed-term employment opportunities where the employee is expected to fulfill real work for the employer, and so should be remunerated as such. Interns usually get paid the National Minimum Wage, however at DigitalGrads we advocate paying the Real Living Wage if the employer can afford it, especially when the position moves from an internship to a permanent role.

Can I do an Internship?

Yes! 🙂

At DigitalGrads we regularly advertise and actively encourage graduates to take part in Internships. You gain experience, whilst getting paid – it’s a win-win.

You can browse our current jobs here!

I hope this article has shed some light on the differences between a traineeship, apprenticeship, and an internship. To get started with your job search, click here!

About post author

As a recent graduate from the University of Reading. I am currently working with DigitalGrads as their content and marketing intern.
Posted in Tools for Your Job Search